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Illinois Republicans Feeling Good About the Future

While November's elections are important, GOP leaders gathered at Republican National Convention say they're focused on strengthening the party for the long term.

TAMPA, FL -- With President Barack Obama carrying Illinois by 25 percentage points in 2008 and with a new poll showing him leading Mitt Romney by about the same margin, one might think there's not much joy among delegates and party leaders gathered here for the Republican National Convention this week.

And while even the reddest of the Republicans acknowledges that GOP presidential candidate Romney has little chance of carrying Illinois, those in Tampa stress that they're focused on building the party for 2014 and beyond.

"The presidential race will be an uphill climb for us," said state party Chairman Pat Brady, adding that Republicans are concentrating their efforts more on congressional and state legislative races this fall.

"In 2014, we’re going to take control of the state, and in 2016, we’re going to be a swing state (in the presidential race)," Brady said. "2012 is an important year, particularly for congressional races, but it’s part of a longer term plan to get more Republicans in office because we need to save our state."

GOP leaders see surge in engagement

Changing Illinois turn from a blue state to a red one — or even a purple one — by the next presidential election will be a challenge in a state where the governor's office and both houses of the General Assembly are controlled by Democrats.

But party leaders say they're seeing more engagement and excitement among Republicans than they have in years — and that should lead to success at the ballot box, they say.

"I’ve been to a number of conventions and I’ve never seen the Republican Party so unified since the Reagan days," said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who represents DuPage County. "I think the Republican Party’s future in Illinois is bright. For the sake of the citizens of this state, we need a two-party state, with Republicans in control of Springfield, to get our fiscal house in order."

"I think there is a lot of enthusiasm like we haven’t see for a long time," added Karen McConnaughay, chairman of the Kane County Board and state Senate candidate. "You can feel it, you can feel that the momentum is really building."

Pat Rea, a delegate from Tinley Park who has been active in the party for years, said he seeing more and more people wanting to get involved.

"I’ve been the committeeman in Bremen Township since the last presidential election...and I can tell you when I came in, it was difficult finding people who wanted to actively get involved. Now it's difficult to handle all the vounteers," Rea said. "Is this new? It’s new to me."

Adam Robinson, chair of the Chicago Republican Party, said since he was elected to his post in April, more than 800 GOP volunteers have come forward to work on behalf of the party in the city.

"That's new volunteers," he stressed. "Republicans want to get involved and we’re simply giving them a way to get engaged. It’s grassroots…it’s very real support."

Illinois GOP leaders say part of that engagement is a result of unhappiness over the direction of the country since Obama has taken office.

"President Obama is a magnificant speaker and he outlined during the last campaign and since some extraordinary lofty goals and ideals...and none of them have worked," Rea said.

Could Obama really lose in Illinois?

Even though the state's Republicans are focused on building the party for the long term, it doesn't mean they're giving up on this year's presidential election — at least not publicly.

In 2008, Obama took 76 percent of the vote in Cook County, more than triple what GOP challenger John McCain received. But a poll released earlier this month shows Obama leading Romney by just 49 percent to 37 percent.

And Illinios Republicans say there are many who backed Obama in 2008 who will likley be sitting on the sidelines this time around.

"What I see is an incumbent president form our hometown who overpromised and underdelivered for his people in Chicago," Robinson said. "Independent voters and base democrats in Chicago — particularly in the black communitiy — feel this president really oversold them on a bill of goods he has not delivered. Quite frankly, he has not been 'left' enough for these guys, so they just aren’t going to vote for him.

"I’m going to make any claims and say that they’re going to show up for our guy," Robinson added. "But Obama is going to have some turnout issues in the city of Chicago."

"I think a lot of people now have buyer’s remorse," said U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, whosed 13th District encompasses the southwest suburbs. "There are a lot of people who are really concerned about the slow economic growth and the lack of jobs, and I think people are really worried about where this country is going."

"It isn’t a done deal that the president’s going to win Illinois."

Richard Schulte September 02, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Now McCloud is insulting Brittney Spears. Brittney (and Sarah Palin) are way more intelligent that Obama.
Conrad September 02, 2012 at 03:17 PM
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/09/02/787991/bush-chief-political-strategist-paul-ryans-speech-was-full-of-lies "DOWD: Paul Ryan, what he did in his speech, I think so stretched the truth. And I like Paul Ryan, have a lot of great respect for Paul Ryan, but the elements that he said about closing the GM plant which closed before Barack Obama took President [sic], about the Simpson-Bowles bill which he opposed and then all of a sudden he faults Barack Obama for. At some point, the truth should matter…He was trying to convey that Barack Obama was responsible for the closing of that GM plant and that isn’t true." (Dowd was Bush's chief political strategist for the 2004 campaign).
McCloud September 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Is this another Obama lie or just another broken promise. Obama said premiums (and only premiums) would go down for the typical or average family by $2,500 repeatedly. Funny, my premium has gone up $300 over the last 2 years.
McCloud September 02, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Is it considered a green job if you collect your paycheck from your mailbox during the Andy Griffith show commercial break. Certainly no gas is being burned in your car.
Richard Schulte September 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Let's talk about what's really important here-jobs, jobs, jobs. What has Obama done to fix the economy and get Americans back to work? Obama cancelled the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline so his campaign contributor, Warren Buffet, could make money on hauling oil from Canada by rail, instead of by the pipeline. (Buffet owns a big share of the railroad which benefitted from the cancellation of the KXL pipeline.) "It's the economy stupid." Imagine screwing over all of America for a campaign contribution from Warren Buffet. How low can you get?
Pernell Roberts September 02, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Did Hillary pick out a new pant suit for the code pink festival next week in Charlotte?
Richard Schulte September 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Rasmussen-September 2, 2012: "The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows Mitt Romney attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while President Obama earns 44% of the vote." Romney is slowly creeping up on 50 percent against an incumbent president. The election for president is over. "It's the economy stupid."
Richard Schulte September 02, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Now this is really sad. Obama's America: "Americans remain highly pessimistic about what lies ahead for the nation's children. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 16% of Adults believe that today’s children will be better off than their parents. That's up slightly from July’s all-time low of 14% and back to the levels found in May and June." Source: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/general_business/august_2012/just_16_see_a_better_future_for_today_s_children
Richard Schulte September 02, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Axelrod says things are looking up for the Obama campaign: "And Mr. Axelrod is an expert on failures. Everything is more expensive than it was 4 years ago, especially energy and food. As far as job growth, more people are out of work today than 2 1/2 years ago when Axelrod says the monthly jobs increase started. Far more people are too discouraged to look for work than 2 1/2 years ago." Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/09/axelrod_were_in_a_better_position_than_we_were_4_years_ago.html#ixzz25KR2udmS "Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?" "Miserable failure", to borrow a phrase from Senator Harry Reid.
Carl Lambrecht September 03, 2012 at 10:26 AM
A new movie is out called 2016. Many of the words are out of a book written by the president. Read "The Hidden Hitler". You will find this book in the Highland Park Public Library.
Richard Schulte September 03, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The bankruptcy of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: "Congratulations to Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, for having the highest per capita debt of any city in the country. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion according to the NPR article Inside America's Most Indebted City." Source: http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/09/03/harrisburg_to_run_out_of_money_in_october_inside_americas_labyrinth_of_fraud This sounds a lot like Illinois and Crook County.
Richard Schulte September 03, 2012 at 02:17 PM
If you are interested in following the story of Obama a little more, then compare photographs of the face of Barack Obama with the face of his supposed father, Barack Obama, and the face of Frank Marshall Davis. Barack Obama looks nothing like Barack Obama Sr., but bears a striking resemblance to Frank Marshall Davis. Frank Marshall Davis was a member of Communist Party USA. When you start looking into Davis, you start to find all sorts of interesting things, such as nude photographs of Obama's mother taken by Davis Perhaps the reason why Obama's birth certificate was hidden and/or falsified is that Obama doesn't want anyone to know that his father was a member of the Communist Party. We know that Obama belonged to a marxist student organization while he attended Occidental College. We also know that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.5 billion rounds of hollow-point ammunition recently. Why would DHS purchase that much ammunition and why would it be hollow-point ammunition? What is the use for all that ammunition-5 rounds per every man, woman and child in the US. There is no doubt that President Obama is a marxist. What the DHS ammunition is for, I'm not sure, but it doesn't seem difficult to figure out what's it's for. A judge in north Texas thinks that civil war will break out over the results of the election if Obama is re-elected. It is my opinion that violence is going to break out regardless of wins the election.
V. Scheurich September 08, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Is the state of Illinois proud of having elected a Communist for their Congressional representative in Washington, D.C. ???? http://weaselzippers.us/2012/09/08/dem-rep-jan-schakowsky-tells-kremlin-tv-shes-happy-democratic-party-becoming-more-communist/
TakeBackIllinois September 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Illinois needs new leadership and it should start at the local level. 9th Senate District candidate Glenn Farkas, a business owner from Glenview, has the leadership skills and business sense to help install fiscal discipline to the serious financial morass which Illinois is facing. He offers a stark contrast to his opponent, Daniel Biss, a former math academic, who firmly supports a Progressive Illinois Income Tax, on top of the recent state income tax increase, and is a leading proponent of cost-shifting of pension liabilities to beleaguered school districts which will significantly increase our property taxes. Mr. Farkas has publicly stated that he will not take any Illinois pension dollars when elected- a refreshing statement which should demonstrate to his constituents of the 9th District ( partial NBK, Glenview Glencoe, Wilmette, Northfield, majority of Evanston, Kenilworth, Winnetka) just how serious he is about fixing pension reform. It is not calculus; it is about taking back Illinois for the taxpayers. If we care about the future of Illinois, we can start local.
McCloud September 09, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Where is Richard Schulte?
Just Sayin September 09, 2012 at 01:34 AM
One can only hope he is gone for good...but no doubt he will rear his ugly head eventually. That is...unless he is you as some have speculated. In which case...go away!!!
Bucephalus September 09, 2012 at 04:18 AM
If you click on his name, his profile returns a "Page Not Found" for his entry, which sounds a lot like "gone for good," as Just Sayin put it.
Abigail September 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Yes, she had full medical coverage. There's more about her death too--the statement that Obama was with her when she died. It turns out he was not there. He was on the mainland.
Tom Fischl September 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
McCloud - Mr. Schulte has been banned from Patch which I find so ironic. There seems to be a lot of censorship going on these days...... http://evanstonroundtable.com/main.asp?SectionID=19&SubSectionID=28&Page=5
Just Sayin September 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Tom...No one I know of is against free speech. All things can be abused including free speech. Richard Schulte was abusive not only in content but also quantity and, if infact, he was banned the action taken by The Patch was wholly appropriate.
Donna M. September 09, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Richard Schulte was Romney's healthcare bill in Massachusetts extreme? It is very similar to Obamacare and it works.
Alicia Singer September 10, 2012 at 12:14 AM
If you think a "math academic" can't figure out taxes, what makes Glenn Farkas qualified? I have had the great pleasure of getting to meet and speak with Mr. Biss on several occasions. He responds to his constituents' questions and concerns. To anyone who wants to learn about Daniel Biss, look him up for yourself. As much hate, and as many half-truths and all-out lies as there have been in this thread, don't listen to some nameless troll online. Be an EDUCATED voter; find out for yourself.
Elizabeth September 10, 2012 at 12:34 AM
No idea if it is just a coincidence, but I sent an email to the Patch editor telling her that in response to her emailing Schulte and asking him to stop being abusive, he posted the email and followed it with over 70 cut and paste posts of other peoples comments. I also said that if they did not do something about him, I would boycott their sponsors. I would have been happy with the ability to block his comments from my view, but I am just as happy if they banned him. He was completely out of control. As for free speech, it applies to the government. You have the right to criticize the govt without fear of arrest. God knows Schulte took advantage of that right. The right of free speech does not extend to a privately owned website, or your employer. Just ask Don Imus. Maybe some of you who claim to love the Constitution might want to actually read it. As for being "brave" enough to use full names, with raving lunatics like Schulte and others online, you would have to be nuts yourself to give out your real name. Cheers.
Brian L. September 10, 2012 at 01:59 AM
I have to say as well, I didn't ask for anyone to be banned, but i asked as well to review what was being said and close the board that Mr. Schulte was spamming. All I saw on the right hand side of the page were his child like posts showing what Sully had said. As for censorship, almost all websites have the right to terminate use by someone who is reported and found to be abusing the terms of service. If Richard Schulte had made his own website and blog about all his rants, it would not have been terminated. Many of us on a community site felt that he was abusing everything and not being a participant in a conversation any longer.
Just Sayin September 10, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Tom...if that is your real name, I choose not to reveal my actual name because it is the PRUDENT thing to do, not because I am a coward. Those who I wish to know my identity do. Too many loonies inhabit the Internet. You certainly appear to be a case in point. In addition, any person or entity can decide what they consider abusive. Definitions of abuse vary. I am free too choose my definition... as are you. Say... what does 14 years in the military have to do with defending people's rights to be offensive? I would avoid military service like the plague and can defend the same! Don't bother to answer that question...it's rhetorical in addition to my not giving a rats ass what you think good soldier. Blahhhh.
wayne citron September 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Seriously everyone, tone down the conversation! Someone got banned because his posts were the same, over and over again, enough already but do not demeanor somones service number 1 and 2 be respectful to one another and that is the exact reason someone got banned!! So to all, good night and you have my name!?
TakeBackIllinois September 10, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Ms. Singer, I couldn't agree with you more about being an educated voter! That is why many constituents, including myself, in the 9th District attended Mr. Biss's recent political meetings in Glenview & Skokie.If you were at the meetings, you heard him, yourself, (1) support a Progressive Illinois Income tax (twice), (2) support pension liability cost-shifting to school districts which will affect property taxes and (3) describe all Springfield legislators as "liars". These are facts. Many of us found his points incredulous; and, the way he he handled the the Wilmette business owner's question just rude. He may address some of your questions and concerns, and may be a nice guy, but his verbally stated positions on many IL pocketbook and taxpayer issues is something I, and many taxpayers in the 9th District, find fiscally irresponsible; and his pension cost shifting position will cause further financial distress to our local School Districts. I am glad that he has a worthy opponent in Glenn Farkas; an MBA, and local small business owner with private sector Pension experience. I am guessing that you will be at the upcoming debate and very much respect your difference of opinion which gives further proof that all politics are "local". I wish more of the constituents, in our great 9th District, would as concerned about the upcoming local election as you and I are- maybe then we could fix the the terrible financial morass that our state is facing.
V. Scheurich September 10, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Public Union greed in Chicago and the nation is watching every minute of this rape of the taxpayers being played out in the media. Now you know why the citizens are tired and have had it with Public Unions. http://weaselzippers.us/2012/09/10/chicagos-unionized-teachers-go-on-strike-even-though-they-are-the-highest-paid-in-america-make-62-more-than-the-average-chicago-family/
Sully September 11, 2012 at 01:02 AM
V, why is someone from Rhode Island, I think, posting on the Evanston Illinois Patch? I'd be williing to guess that if you truly are who you say you are, you know nothing about the real situation in Chi-town.
Guido McGinty September 11, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sherlock has solved the mystery. We shall be free of the scourge of Ocean Staters.

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